97 Comments
Apr 3Liked by Ken White

Beautifully written letter! However, I was more intrigued by the statements in your cover essay, specifically "a system that is completely unaffordable and incomprehensible to most Americans." That's a very serious indictment of the entire framework of our country. You might like to add "glacially slow," just to complete the picture. Later you observe that "We need to create accessible resources...," a statement that should apply to much more of the law than just free speech. The entire legal system is unapproachable and fear of any encounter prevents far too many people from pursuing their rights.

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I know you say that commenting publicly about ongoing legal proceedings can be fraught, especially for legal counsel, but the phrase "beat them incontinent with California's anti-SLAPP statute" had to be said.

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You don't mention the possibility of changing legal professional ethics requirements to punish lawyers who make frivolous threats. Is that not an option? Why should punishing them only be addressed in the marketplace of ideas?

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Apr 3Liked by Ken White

Thank you for taking this case, and for publicizing it. Keep up the good fight.

As a result of this case, and Whittier's actions, I am stopping all planned donations to Whittier College, until such time as Whittier publicly apologizes, and repudiates all individuals associated with this censorious behavior.

Does this statement qualify as "conduct that undermines President Oubre’s reputation, authority and position"? Could it provoke a claim of "personal liability under the Unruh Civil Rights Act"? I will stipulate that I intend "to create a hostile work environment for President Oubre and to undermine her authority and position", although this is not my sole purpose.

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Here in the Free State of Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican-controlled legislature are pushing an agenda to make it easier for public officials to sue for defamation. Also included is a provision that would treat anonymously sourced information as inherently false. While this is aimed at the news media, there are also proposals to apply it to bloggers and others posting online. Bloggers would be required to register with the state and to disclose the sources of any payments they might receive. BTW, those pushing these proposals have made it clear the goal is to get a case to the Supreme Court and have New York Time v. Sullivan overturned.

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Beautiful. Had a real “Cleveland Browns you should be aware some asshole is signing your name” energy to. It.

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Apr 3Liked by Ken White

Would it be possible to enact a federal anti-SLAPP statute?

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How tempting is it to end letters like that wtih 'no, govern *yourselves* accordingly'?

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This was a very satisfying read

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Apr 3Liked by Ken White

This Pope got some serious legal writing chops. That means, clearly written such that even the nincompoops at WC may actually come to understand that they are being shits, here. Thanks for a good share, Kenneth. And, welcome to the Kenneth Club.

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<me reading Popehat's letter to Whittier counsel> : "Ken chose violence."

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A question about (that great response letter) - is there an important procedural reason to send that response? In other words, could you have simply told the client "You can ignore this garbage threat" or does the response serve you in the event that they did bring a legal action against the client? Or in your experience does the legal bullying continue if they don't get a written smackdown?

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Jesus, Ken: I’m a nurse, not an attorney, and even I understood how much of a beat-down that was. The only equivalency I can muster is watching Jordan score 45 after Nick Anderson dissed him the year before in the playoffs: you knew it was coming, you felt bad for Anderson, but you couldn’t take your eyes away because watching someone get what they deserve is also kinda fun.

Consider my support pledged, and thanks.

Rick

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Apr 4Liked by Ken White

I thought my signature was bad (it's pretty embarrassing), but yours is something else.

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And now "Vexatious Legal Thuggery" is the name of my new metal band.

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One of the very telling things in that LAT article: Oubre's background is in business admin. We're seeing a lot of these business types come in and try to apply business ethics to academia. It ... tends not to go well.

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